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Cardinal Mario Grech fields questions during the Synod press conference, October 27, 2022YouTube screenshot

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — A leading synodal cardinal and member of the Roman Curia has defended the “manifestly heretical” artwork promoted by the Synod on Synodality in social media posts, saying that the Church is a “listening Church.” 

The topic was raised by Vatican journalist Diane Montagna during the presentation of the Synod’s new working document for the continental stage of the process. That document – which calls for more inclusion of the divorced and “re-married,” LGBT groups, and proposes a “female diaconate” – was compiled from the numerous synodal reports submitted by dioceses and bishops’ conferences around the world.

During the document’s drafting, the Synod on Synodality’s social media accounts posted a number of images, selected from the various diocesan submissions, which appeared to promote female priests and the LGBT ideology.

Some of the images juxtaposed “Catholic identity” with “LGBTQ+ identity,” and “intolerance” with “dialogue.” The word “Scripture” was also placed in opposition to “radical hospitality.”

One image in particular depicted a woman dressed as a priest wearing vestments, including a clerical collar, an alb, and a chasuble. Of somewhat peculiar interest was the fact that on top of the chasuble, the woman was wearing a stole – which is supposed to be worn underneath the chasuble – a practice often seen in secular, televised depictions of Catholic Masses.

May be a cartoon of standing

As noted by Montagna, the synod social media accounts praised the images as “real works of art,” despite containing depictions of things “contrary to the Catholic faith.” She also highlighted how the synod social media accounts “lost a lot of credibility and trust in the eyes of many Catholics” over the images.

However, Cardinal Mario Grech, the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, downplayed concerns about the images.

“We are listening to everybody and if you go through the document – we are not only talking about images but contents – listening to everybody without excluding anybody,” he said. 

Grech added that the synod has a “responsibility to take note of all voices – at this particular moment – of the people of God. Otherwise, you could also criticise us that we are not a listening Church!”

The cardinal focussed on this theme of the synod, emphasizing that “we are a listening Church.” 

“At this moment we are not taking any position,” he added.

Our duty at this moment is to be a channel, to make the voices of the people of God, that arrived through the episcopal conferences.

So we exclude nothing, we take note of everything and we submit that then to the pastors who have the responsibility to guide the people of God.  

Images not aligned with reality

The images in question, despite being highlighted by the synod team, have been subject to additional controversy. Catholics have accused the artist, who drew the images, of misrepresenting reality in order to promote an LGBT agenda. 

Austin Quick, who runs “The Basic Catholic” social media account, received testimony from a Catholic present at some of the U.S. meetings which gave rise to the synodal reports.

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UPDATE (1/24/23): 

Pro-life priest and Red Rose Rescuer Fr. Fidelis Moscinski has been found guilty of violating the Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. 

Yesterday Fr. Fidelis was convicted of the federal crime for a July 2022 “lock and block” rescue he conducted at a Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York. The priest is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 and faces up to six months in federal prison. 

Sign the petition to let Fr. Fidelis know you support him and are praying for him.


UPDATE (10/26/22): 

A Pennsylvania court issued a split ruling against a pro-life Franciscan priest and activist arrested after he entered an abortion clinic to help women choose life.

Father Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges and not guilty of a felony trespass and a misdemeanor resist, for participating in a Red Rose Rescue at a Planned Parenthood.

Fr. Moscinski entered the clinic on August 27, 2021 with red roses and pro-life literature ready to hand out to women and persuading them to choose life for their children.

Fr. Fidelis has participated in many Red Rose Rescues at abortion centers, and for this has been imprisoned multiple times.

He was also previously arrested for trying to save babies in Ohio in June 2021 and in New Jersey in January 2020.

After the court decision, Fr. Fidelis urged people to “continue keeping all pro-lifers anywhere who are facing charges, especially federal charges, in your prayers, and that God can bring some good out of this unjust persecution.”

Sign this petition today to let Fr. Fidelis know you stand with him and his heroic fight to save unborn lives from abortion.

Fellow pro-life activist and Red Rose Rescuer Will Goodman told LifeSite’s Jim Hale that the court’s ruling to drop one felony and reject another was a “big victory.”But the crackdown on pro-lifers continues!

Just recently the Biden administration targeted Fr. Fidelis and other pro-life activists for Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) violation charges.

This same law was also used by the FBI to raid the home of pro-life Catholic dad Mark Houck last month.

It’s really a disgrace that in America pro-lifers are increasingly being attacked and persecuted simply because they stand for life.

Fr. Fidelis Moscinski needs your prayers and support now more than ever as he continues to fearlessly battle for the unborn.

SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY to tell Fr. Fidelis you stand with him and his courageous fight!


‘Big victory’: Felonies tossed in split verdict for priest attempting rescue of unborn

BREAKING NEWS: Father Fidelis Legal Verdict reaction LIVE by Legal team

FBI charges pro-life priest with violating abortion access law one week after Mark Houck raid

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READ: Vatican synod website celebrates homosexuality and child adoption by same-sex couples

He told Quick that the artwork misrepresented the young Catholics at the meetings, since it is “drawn” in their likeness, modeling their body positions, clothing style and details, facial structure, and (for the most part) coloring. 

His concern was deepened by the fact that the ideology promoted by the art was totally contrary to what the models were advocating during the listening session.

“The art portrayed in the picture of the synod does not correctly represent us as practicing Catholics. The artist depicted 4/5 of us with false identities seemingly to fit a more inclusive and skewed agenda,” said the young Catholic, who remains publicly unidentified.

Synod document undermines claims of merely ‘listening’ 

While the synodal team has often referred to being a “listening Church” in an attempt to downplay ever increasing fears that the synodal process will undermine Catholic teaching, the synod’s new document only exaggerates those fears.

Containing prominent calls for female deacons, it will guide the next stage of the Synod on Synodality, which has been extended until 2024.

The document refers to various groups of people who felt “neglected and excluded,” calling for more inclusion of such groups. Among those who “feel a tension between belonging to the Church and the experience of their own affective relationships,” the document listed: 

  • remarried divorcees,
  • single parents,
  • people in polygamous marriages,
  • LGBTQ people, etc.

“All in need of a more welcoming Church,” the document stated.

While drawn from the various reports submitted from around the globe, the document was compiled by a group of synod “experts,” comprised a number of individuals who both oppose the Traditional Mass and support contraception and LGBT ideology.

READ: Pro-contraception theologian, controversial papal biographer writing key document for Synod on Synodality

One such member of the “experts” was Monsignor Piero Coda, the Secretary of the Pontifical International Theological Commission which advises the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Part of the panel presenting the new document last week, Coda has previously referenced a “great impetus to the renewal of the theological content and language” coming from Pope Francis, praising “a disruptive creative energy” which was now “being released” in the Church.

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